Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

The Jodi Arias Story : A Beautiful Photographer, Her Mormon Lover, and A Brutal Murder

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Travis Alexander was a handsome, hard-working, practicing Mormon who lived in Mesa, Arizona. His good looks and easygoing manner made him popular with everyone, especially the ladies. So when he was found with a bullet wound in the face and his throat slashed, the brutal murder sent shock waves throughout his community. Who could have done something so sinister? But soon a suspect was singled out: Jodi Arias
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : St Martin's Paperbacks, [2014]
Edition: St. Martin's Paperbacks edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781250003539
Branch Call Number: 364.1523 Hoga
Characteristics: 356 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 18 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jul 28, 2016

What happens when a liar and fantasist meets a worse one. This could be an interesting story about religion and the self-help culture, but the author did the rock bottom minimum of research to turn out a book while public interest was still high. For example, the first quarter of the book is devoted to establishing what a saint Travis Alexander was, when the entire story was taken from Alexander himself and his family supporters, and is highly unlikely and self-serving. What, not even one Mormon would come forward to criticize his use of ward contacts to sell his "legal insurance" pyramid scheme? Jodi Arias is somewhat more realistically depicted, but she was not a photographer, but a dull, mentally empty waitress, who clung onto men to give herself an identity. As these two use and torment one another, it's hard to decide who is dimmer: Alexander, Arias, or Hogan, who covers the relationship in lifeless, repetitive detail.

Oct 06, 2015

I was not impressed by the voice used. It says that this is narrated by Emily Durante but it was this weird mix of human and robot voice that at the beginning really bothered me and at times couldn't correctly pronounce simple words. I have listened audiobooks previously that were narrated by the author and this weird narration drove me nuts.
Despite the narration, the story was easy to listen to. This book reads and flows like a fiction story, which was good and bad. The author, Hogan, seemed to be very specific in little details such as what was said in conversations between friends and how various scenes looked in very minute detail, which left me wondering if it was all 100% non-fiction or a mix of truth and fluff. It was just strange to read (listen) to a timeline of exact words spoken by characters and the emotions they were feeling at the time. Hogan either did very extensive research and interviews, or made up dialog along the way. I just find it hard to believe she knew how Travis (the victim) was feeling prior to his death.
It is a non-fiction, true crime story filled with emotions and memories rather than facts. I was left many times wondering why the author didn't elaborate more when actual facts were given. Really there were no new facts given in the book that weren't already explored during the airing of the trial on television. The only new incite this story gave were emails and texts between Travis and his friends.
Hogan also told such a one sided story and not an objective re-telling of a crime. Most of it is focused on the victim, Travis, and his life prior to death, along with his family and friends' views and opinions after his horrific murder occurred. There are parts Hogan uses "according to Ms. Arias" or uses quotes from Arias that were published in news stories, but it seems like this was written specifically for the victim's family and friends to tell their side of the story.
Another issue I had was the writing style. It is written like a very bad YA teen story. I happen to love YA books so this was a huge disappointment. Hogan writes the book as is she was actually there from death to trial. Like she was a part of the story. The language, dialog, and descriptions used to retell the story had me, at times, wondering if we were even dealing with grown adults, or juvenile teenagers. It was just odd. The character's description were so basic and boring that it was just flat. There are better words that Hogan could have used to describe witnesses throughout the book besides "petite blonde, peppy, or lanky" (she used them repetitively through the whole book also). The book opens by describing a scene of Travis' house. It reads like this:
"Slivers of light pierced the white wood blinds, illuminating a single window on the second floor. It was the only trace of light in the house--the rest lay shrouded by the night sky."
So over-the-top and dreamy-like. Very odd for a non-fiction book's opening line in my opinion.
All in all, it was a decent read (listen) and was interesting to hear the story from the "victim's side", even though I really wondered how much of the thoughts and emotions of the characters were actually true and how much was made up and imagined. It did seem to drag on because of the excessive detail into the life of the victim and explaining what a terrific guy he was. I just think Hogan's execution should have been different and read more like interviews of family and friends recounting the story and the life of Travis rather than retelling it as if the author was a part of the story.
If you have followed the Jodi Arias trial this is a decent read or listen, but nothing great. A 3 star read for me.

Sep 07, 2015

Author Shanna Hogan gives us a thorough look at the 2008 murder of Travis Alexander by his ex-girlfriend Jodi Arias and the media circus that followed. By providing a history of both the criminal and the victim while documenting all the sordid details of their dysfunctional relationship, we learn that Arias was simply a ticking time bomb just waiting to go off. But what I found most interesting about this book was the section dealing with her arrest and trial. Given the dirt she had on Alexander, I felt that if she had just called 911 right after the killing and claimed self defense, Arias probably could've gotten away with murder. Picture Perfect is definitely a page-turner.

Also, to the reviewers below that are critical of this book: I think it's important to remember that Hogan's background is in journalism - not criminal psychology. Her job is to present the facts of this case. Only at the very end does she offer her opinion of Arias.

Aug 24, 2014

I found the book to be ok not that great. It is an interesting case but I found the other book written on the case by Jane Velez-Mitchell was a better read more background info on Jodi and more trial info.

May 31, 2014

This is one awful book. The writing is repetitive and cliche-ridden, and the author seems to have no insight into human psychology or behavior at all. I recognize that it is a trope of the genre to turn the victim into a saint, but Travis Alexander sounds like a truly unpleasant person: full of himself and a sucker for any girl who would play up to him. After listening to maybe two disks, I could tell that Jodi Arias is a textbook case of borderline personality disorder, a pathological fear of rejection, but this insight didn't seem to occur to the author. This is a very tiresome book. I wanted to learn something about the Arias case as I didn't really follow it in the news, and I like true crime books. But this was a real disappointment.

May 30, 2014

She was a bad girl that did a bad crimes

Mar 27, 2014

Only thing that would of made the book get a higher rating in my opinion is more pictures.

Excellently told of a horrific event.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CHPL

To Top